Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Big Switch: From Fear to Love

Have you noticed how most of us are still thinking and acting like cavemen? Okay, it’s true, we now know how to handle a Blackberry (which is now an electronic device), we now can also type things like this article on the internet. We have a sophisticated brain that is able to come up with an equally sophisticated language and culture. It’s great, it’s beautiful… but what is it that I mean when I say that most of us are still thinking and acting like cavemen? Let me explain.

I’ve talked and written about two types of motivation: fear-based motivation and love-based motivation. The fear-based model is simple: everything we do, we do for survival. In this type of motivation the root of behavior is very simple: if it will keep me alive I’ll keep doing it, if it will kill me I'll avoid it at all costs. Thankfully, this is how cavemen operated! If it wasn’t for that, our sophisticated systems would not be here. If it wasn't for the avoidance of death approach that cavemen excelled at, I certainly would not be writing this and you would certainly not be reading it. Cavemen did their thing to get you and me to be here well, fear of death worked.

Now, let us look at the other option that has, in my opinion, been an option for quite some time now. This is the love-based approach; this is when we do what we do because we love to do it, not because we are afraid that we will die if we don’t. This is the option that has opened up thanks to the success of cavemen who survived all the trials and tribulations they went through from the time of poisonous blackberries vs. good blackberries to the time of handheld electronic Blackberries.

My point is simple: it is no longer necessary to be running on a fear-based approach. Life is no longer as threatening as it was when we were dinner for other species! Our victory has changed things around a bit, now it is us that capture other animals and eat them for dinner, so we need not be afraid any longer!

Now, survival is as simple as getting up, getting in the car, doing light work and getting a paycheck every week. Things have changed quite a bit, wouldn’t you say? There’s no need to be so afraid anymore, is there? We are spoiled now! Living is quite easy if we are to compare with cave days.

Our approach can now go from fear-based to love-based in the sense that we can actually drive our car where we love to drive it, do the work we love to do, experience the things we love to experience and at the same time get rewarded for it!

Is this how most of us are choosing to live our lives? It doesn’t seem like it. Most of us still use survival talk as if survival was still such a difficult struggle. Many of us despise our jobs and keep going to them as if we had no other choice, as if the only way for us to survive was attending that specific job.

Let’s face it, we live in a world filled with options, filled with possibilities, filled with opportunities, all we need to do is exercise our love for a particular function, one that we just feel lovingly inclined to practice. If we do this, we make our passion into our dream job. I know this sounds simplistic, and in a way it is, the hardest thing is realizing that what I am writing about is totally possible. You will have to defeat all the voices in your head that are arguing with the reality that you can indeed switch your motivation from fear-based motivation, to love-based motivation. We are not cavemen anymore. It takes diligent work, but we can do it!

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